Check out this wonderful first-hand account and review by a recent Fellow, Dr. Yancheng Liu, who worked with our own Dr. Janssen!
This was my first Spine fellowship outside of China. With some excited feeling, I arrived at Denver International Airport on December 10th 2015. At the luggage claim station, surprisingly, I heard someone called my name. It’s Mark, who had communicated with me many times. I was so happy to see him. He was like an American “Uncle Sam”.
With the guidance of Mark, I started my study and life in Denver. In the working day, I went to OR to watch surgeries. Most of the time, I was with Dr. Michael Janssen, my mentor, and boss. His surgical skills were perfect, especially in anterior cervical total disc arthroplasty. When he was doing a surgery, he liked everything well prepared and organized, which makes the operation so efficient. I was so lucky that I could assist on Dr. Janssen’s surgeries many times. I know only a few fellows can be treated like this, so I was trying to be good and work hard. I saw and learned many new surgical skills, such as total disc arthroplasty of the cervical spine with Prodisc implant. I heard Dr Janssen was the first doctor who reported a long-term follow-up of cervical TDR. TDR of the lumbar spine was another interesting technique for me; in my hospital, the anterior approach for lumbar spine is a demanding technique that only a few spine surgeons can do. When there was no surgery, I’d go to the clinic with Dr. Janssen. He is very good at communicating with patients and treats every patient like an old friend. He talks about diseases, but also talks about many other interesting things to make patients happy and easy. On the weekends, Doctor Janssen took me to many interesting places, like the only cigar bar in Denver, so I could learn a lot about the interesting western culture. The most unforgettable place for me is Saratoga Resort, it’s a so nice and fantastic place.
I lived in a nice guest house; there was a kitchen, laundry, and three bedrooms. In my spare time, I’d cook some Chinese food which I never did at home. We fellows liked chatting and reading in the house. I read lot good books from the library of CSD.
For me, this three-month fellowship was perfect. I not only learned many advanced knowledge and surgeries there but I also got to learn a lot about the western cultures. I did many things I thought impossible before. I made many good friends there; I’d like to give my faithful thanks to all the people I knew in these three months, Dr. Janssen, Mark, Ruth, Racheal, Dr. Anton, Dr. Levin, Paul, Leo, my Chinese friend Gang, et al. I appreciate my best friend and mentor in the U.S., Dr. Janssen, who have given me a brand new view of life and career. In the end, I wish all of you a happy life!